Barney Frank Re-election

November 29, 2011 by staff 

Barney Frank Re-election, Barney Frank, a Newton resident and liberal stalwart, said yesterday his decision to not run for re-election to Congress is based largely on the new configurations of the district he has represented for three decades and the changing climate in Washington.

Frank, D-4th, told a room full of reporters, constituents and officials yesterday afternoon at Newton City Hall that campaigning in a district that included more than 325,000 new constituents would require a significant amount of time, energy and money.

Frank’s announcement comes a week after Gov. Deval Patrick signed the bill that creates new congressional districts. While Frank, who has been in the House since 1980, kept his hometown of Newton and other strong liberal areas such as Brookline, he also picked up more conservative towns in the Blackstone Valley and Norfolk County.

“The fact that it is so new makes it hard,” said Frank, adding that it would be tough meeting so many new constituents and making his case to them. “I would’ve had to work very hard.”

When asked if he could have won another term in his new district, the congressman known for his gruff manner said he thinks he would have prevailed but conceded it would have “been a tough campaign.”

“Look, I don’t like raising money,” said Frank, who is 71 and the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. “I would have to start now raising another couple million dollars.”

He said one good thing about his decision is he will no longer have to pretend to be nice to people he doesn’t like.

Frank, who is largely credited with the financial regulations in the Dodd-Frank bill, said he will not become a lobbyist after his retirement. His next venture will instead focus on writing, teaching and helping enhance the district.

“I do not plan to be responsible for anyone’s actions other than my own,” he said.

One of the first openly gay lawmakers, Frank said yesterday he was proud that he was able to play a key role in repealing the armed services’ Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell policy.

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